Want to teach your golden retriever some fun and cute tricks?
Today, you’ll learn five tricks to teach your dog that will help the two of you bond together, help satisfy their need for mental stimulation, and serve as fun party tricks!
I have taught these for years in beginner trick classes — most dogs catch on very quickly and really shine performing them.
Plus, at the end of this post, you’ll see five mistakes that cause most dog owners to have a hard time teaching these.
First, we’ll start with why you should teach your golden retriever tricks (hint: it’ll make life with your pup much easier!).
Then, we’ll get into the tricks!
Why Teach Your Golden Retriever Tricks
Every golden owner knows that their dog needs daily mental and physical stimulation.
When you do that, you’re creating a super athlete!
Does that sound like your pup?
Now, a great way to wear your golden out through mental exercise is by teaching him tricks.
Now, let’s get into the tricks!
1. Spin Left & Right
Golden retrievers often spin in circles when they are excited — so it’s a natural behavior for them.
With this trick, we’re going to put the behavior on a cue!
First, take a treat and hold it in front of your golden’s nose.
Lure him in a big circle and when he has completed the circle, hand him the treat.
Now, try luring him in a circle to the other side.
Is your golden struggling with this trick?
Make sure that you are luring right in front of his nose — if you hold the treat even a couple inches above his head, he will simply sit down and look at it.
You can use toys to lure this trick as well.
Take your dog’s favorite ball or tug toy into your hand and draw a circle around him with it.
If he follows, play with the toy together!
If your dog is consistently doing this trick you can name it as well.
You can use words such as “spin” or “twist”, or name it “left” and “right”.
If you want your dog to spin right when you say “right”, make sure that you use the correct command for the correct side.
When you are standing in front of him, your right is actually his left.
If you name the directions correctly — so that your dog’s right is actually his right – you can use them later to direct him while biking and running together — or during agility!
Check out the video below of me teaching this trick.
How To Teach Your Dog To Spin [VIDEO]
2. Leg Bounce
In this trick, your golden is going to bounce back and forth over your leg.
A word of caution before you start: you should only do this on non-slip surfaces and with dogs over one year old.
Otherwise, you might risk muscle strains or joint injuries.
To teach this trick, first sit on a low stool next to a wall.
Stretch out one leg and touch the wall with your foot.
Now, you made a little jump with your leg!
Have your dog at your side.
Toss a cookie over your leg.
When your dog has jumped across and eaten it, toss another one to the other side.
This way your pup can bounce back and forth for treats.
Over time you can sit higher and higher up.
Note that this type of jumping is very tiring for your dog as he is jumping from a standstill.
He might be panting after just a couple bounces at first.
Build up his endurance slowly and always have fresh water handy if he needs a drink.
You can use this trick to give your dog a burst of exercise in the smallest spaces, which is especially helpful when it is dark or rainy outside.
Is your golden retriever puppy a perfectly behaved angel? If not, check out Steffi’s Ultimate Puppy Program!
3. Up Up
Dogs love to get up on objects and have a good look around.
You can teach your golden to hop up on different objects and use this on walks!
Start out very easy: you can, for example, take a treat and lure your dog onto a low wooden pallet or a low bench.
Reward your dog and introduce a name for the behavior — I call it “Up Up” for my own dogs.
As your golden is practicing this more and more, you can make the Up Up objects more challenging.
Try fallen logs on a forest walk or boulder that you come across.
If you walk near a playground, you can also try it on playground equipment.
This trick will increase your dog’s body awareness and strengthen his focus on you when you’re out and about.
It will also be great for having them pose for a cute pic for Instagram!
4. Paws On Shoulders
This adorable trick is best taught with a helper.
First, sit or kneel on the floor.
Then, have a helper bring your golden and hold him behind your back.
You can now take a treat, reach over your shoulder and lure your dog’s paws up.
He will sit with his paws on your shoulders — like he is hugging you!
This is another great trick for pictures, especially when your golden smiles wide or gives you a kiss as he hugs you.
If you have a golden puppy, he might need to grow a bit before he can reach your shoulders.
5. Leg Weaves
Finally, let’s teach your golden to weave through your legs.
First, take treats into both hands.
Have your golden on your left side.
Now, take a big step forward with your right leg.
Lure your dog through the “gate” with your right hand and give him a treat at your right side.
Good — this is already 50% of your leg weaves!
Now, we will finish the trick by taking a big step forward with our left leg and luring the dog through with our left hand.
Again, reward him by your side.
Leg weaves is a trick that dogs learn very quickly.
Goldens love to wiggle through your legs.
Once your dog gets the idea of this behavior, you can also use toys to reward it — such as tennis balls that you have in both hands and use for the luring.
We hope you enjoy these tricks — your golden certainly will love to learn and play with you.
But make sure that you train in short and frequent sessions.
You cannot concentrate perfectly for an hour — and neither can your dog.
Instead, train for 5 minutes, two or three times a day and your pup will be a trick dog in no time.
Have any questions about training these tricks?
Do your golden know any tricks?
Let us know down in the comments!
P.S. Is your golden retriever puppy a perfectly behaved angel? If not, check out Steffi’s Ultimate Puppy Program!
- 6 Month Old Golden Retrievers: Size, Training, Biting & Behaviors
- How To Train Your Golden Retriever Puppy (In Just 5 Minutes Per Day)
- Best Toys For Golden Retriever Puppies (For Training, Teething & More)
About the author:
Steffi Trott is a dog trainer and owner of SpiritDogTraining.com. She has four dogs, including a golden retriever named Shine, and has been training dogs since 2013. She’s taught clients all across the world, and is fascinated by dog cognition and behavior.